Oscar Recap…

Here’s my writeup I did during the Oscars, pretty much unedited, except to fix a few spelling errors and whatnot.  I also kept updating a post about it on Facebook, as it was happening…so if you check out my Facebook page, you can see that.  It’s kind of similar…but not entirely.

Anyway…here we go:

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Worst opening I’ve ever seen, with both hosts floundering to both read the prompter and be likable.

Can Kirk Douglas just host this thing?

Nice mouth on Melissa Leo!  🙂

I liked Timberlake confessing to being Banksy.  He’s gold when he’s not singing.

Toy Story 3 won best animated film…shocking…  In other news, I like using sarcasm!

The “tributes” to past movies seem pointless and out of place.

I hope they don’t shove The Social Network down our throats all night long.  I really don’t care how Facebook was made or about the lives of the sad little developers.

Franco doesn’t seem to care and Hathaway is trying too hard.

Cute making fun of Hugh Jackman.

Franco in a dress pretty much bombed.  Audience didn’t care…and his Charlie Sheen joke couldn’t even save it.

I kind of like Russell Brand.  I’m disappointed in myself for it…but I do.  But where the hell did his beard go?  (And no…I’m not referring to Katy Perry.)

Always a pleasure to see Reese Witherspoon.

Did anyone actually see Winter’s Bone?  I didn’t even hear of it until the Golden Globes.

Geoffrey Rush deserved the Oscar based on nothing more than him being Geoffrey Rush.  But of course he didn’t get it…  I didn’t see “The Fighter” (I refuse to knowingly give money to Marky Mark), but good for Christian Bale…I’ve always been a fan of his and I give him a well-deserved “Swing-heil!” for his win.  I just wish he was Geoffrey Rush.

Also always a pleasure to see Nicole Kidman.

Unless you’re prepared to trot Mark Hammil out on stage, you should NOT play the Star Wars music.  It’s just a tease.

Holy word Melissa Leo said!  Trent Reznor won an Oscar!

Seriously…James Franco…stop trying to make me like you.

At this point in the Oscars, I have decided to play the “Who’s NOT on pot?” game.  I figure that’ll be easier than figuring out who IS, based on most of the presenters…

I wonder if Marissa Tomei still sends thank you notes to the estate of Jack Palance…

Cate Blanchet is ageless.  I have no clue how old she is…she could be 30…she could be 50…  She just always looks like that.  (Not that I’m complaining.  She’s lovely.)

Seems like Alice in Wonderland was WAY more than a year ago…but maybe I’m mixing it up with Willie Wonka.

Kevin Spacey is a remarkably good singer.  But I wish he’d have done his Walter Matthau impression.

Nawewe got robbed!  (Just kidding.  I’ve never heard of any of the short films.)

Really?  Did we need a tribute to Auto-tune?  Really?

Hathaway’s growing on me, but I could pretty much do without ever seeing Franco again at this point.

I’m so tired of Oprah.

I was really hoping to see Banksy win…oh well.  I guess at least this way he can keep working…and not getting paid for it…

Funny… Michael Moore would’ve been booed for telling the truth about the financial crisis…

Billy Crystal: How long can a man be receding before he recedes?  But at least he’s LIGHT YEARS more entertaining than everybody else that’s been up there (except for Douglas).

Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law…apt pairing…for a number of reasons.  (Seriously, I did like them working together.)

Seriously…Franco’s dragging Hathaway down.  But God bless her for still trying.

I like Gwenyth Paltrow…but she is NOT a Country star, and people need to stop calling her that.  She’ll ride this movie for a little longer, then never sing again, and I’m fine with that.  She’s a good actress and a not a BAD singer…but she’s a movie star…not a country star.  But I did like her song more than Randy Newman’s.  Newman’s speech was pretty good, though.

I hate Celine Dion so much I have to pee.

I forgot Blake Edwards died this year…and they didn’t include Corey Haim in the death-tribute…that’s not too classy.

Every time someone says the name Jennifer Hudson, I think they’re talking about Kate Hudson…and I’m very disappointed when I figure it out.

We’re getting a tornado warning in St. Louis at this point.  Come on, Academy…  “Twister” is SO 1996!

Lifetime Achievement awards used to mean something, didn’t they?  Why isn’t that part of the telecast anymore?!?

Hmm…Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan seemed more moved to get the part than Portman herself was to get the Oscar.  But good for her!  That kid’s gonna go places, I tells ya!

Sandra Bullock doesn’t look like herself anymore.  Too much Botox, I think.  Shame…I always thought she was going to age gracefully…

Well thank God they didn’t give Best Actor to Franco…after tonight, he certainly couldn’t have backed it up.  But Colin Firth is a good choice.  He’s got a ton of talent, and if Geoffrey Rush can’t win, then at least he did…but I think I aged a little during his speech.

I love Spielberg pointing out the losers from past years who are still pretty damn memorable.  That was really, really classy.

Well, my previous post was not quite proven right, huh?  Way to go King’s Speech.

I was expecting those kids at the end were going to sing “Come Sail Away.”  What the hell?

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…and now we’ve got tornado sirens in this neighborhood.  So…that’s happening.

Assuming no tornadoes kill me…I’ll talk to y’all later!  Hope you enjoyed the Oscars!

How It Went

Okay…so I went to the Dentist.  And I lived!  I’m nowhere near out of the woods, though.  But here’s how it went, as near as I can recall.

  1. Left work early.
  2. Dad drove me, just in case I ended up having anything serious done and/or was drugged up and couldn’t drive home.
  3. Got there and filled out paperwork.  Had to call the office to find out what our zip code was.
  4. The Hygienist ran a full panel on my head, since I haven’t been to a Dentist in so long.  It was a quick process, but weird…I look forward to many more weird procedures in the future.
  5. I was asked a couple of times, “Do you have any pain right now?”  And I didn’t, so I said, “No…I have in the past, but I feel fine right now.”  Then I overheard the following conversation between the two Hygienists, which both caused me shame AND made me feel like a big shot…
    • Dental Hygienist 1: That’s amazing…
    • Dental Hygienist 2: What’s amazing?
    • Dental Hygienist 1: …that he doesn’t have any pain!
  6. The Dentist—Dr. John, as I know him—came in and we spoke about the last time I was in his office.  (He’s the same guy I went to all those years ago.  He’s a family friend.)  I told him I wasn’t even sure when that was…and he told me that he looked it up and it was in August of 1994.  At present, I have no plans to re-write that damn blog post!
  7. So, I leaned back in the chair and he looked in my mouth for a couple of seconds.  His exact words were, “Derek, you’ve given me a lot to think about in what to recommend here…”  I figured he’d follow-up with “we’re going to gut the place and rebuild…”  But he didn’t.
  8. There was a deep cleaning done, which was only minorly uncomfortable (and right now my mouth feels a little RAW as a result, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it pain).  He pretty much talked to the Hygienist about every tooth, outlining what was wrong…and to my relief he did say “this one’s okay” a few times.

Basic Results:

  • I am going back next week for a root canal and (I think) a filling to fix the tooth I broke that led to this whole experience in the first place.  I don’t know if he plans to do anything else that day…but I know there’s at least a root canal happening.  But he told me that “contrary to what older people are going to tell you” I won’t feel anything at all during the procedure.
  • I have several Wisdom Teeth that came in and need to be extracted.  One on bottom in apparently still semi-covered by my gums.  When he said that, I immediately thought, “That explains a lot…”  I now believe that what I thought was an abscess a while ago was THAT tooth coming in.
  • I think I also have one Molar that’s got to go.  He assures me that I won’t even miss it once it’s gone.
  • At least a couple of the extractions will have to be done by an oral surgeon, rather than by Dr. John…which I have mixed emotions about, but I’m sure will be fine.
  • I have assorted chips, nicks, etc that we didn’t even discuss because the “big” stuff has to be taken care of first.
  • Good news: My dental insurance is pretty decent.  This visit was 100% covered.  My root canal will be 80% covered.
  • Bad news: The coverage is great…but they’ll only pay out $1000.  Then I have to wait for it to reset…which I think is in January 2012.  So I really should’ve started this in like December 2010, I guess…  Maybe if I get any money back from my tax return, I can get some stuff done that my insurance won’t pay for.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience.  Hell, I was in such pain with the Wisdom Tooth Incident (as I will now be referring to it, since I no longer think it was an abscess) that there is pretty much nothing he could’ve done to me that would’ve hurt more than that.  I honestly think he could have drilled on me without any Novocaine and it still would’ve been better than the pain I was in back then.  So, I wasn’t even as nervous as I imagined I was going to be.  Dr. John creates a relaxed atmosphere, and his Hygienists are both very friendly as well.  (I’m going to use the word “compassionate.”)  He didn’t lecture me or anything like that.  I think he knew he didn’t have to.  He was pretty much all business, but I never felt like House was standing in the room with me or anything like that.

So…we’ll see how positive my outlook is after a root canal next week (Thursday at 2:00), but all in all…go to the Dentist, kids.  It’s not as bad as you think it will be.  Plus…from personal experience, if you don’t have good oral health, you’ve got dogshit.  So go get taken care of, if you need it.  I was an idiot for waiting this long.

…but I’m still not going to a physician any time soon.

RIP Dwayne McDuffie

Dwayne McDuffie died.

It’s a shame that you don’t know who that is…but I understand.  And that’s why I’m here.  To tell you these things.

Dwayne McDuffie was a comic book, TV, and film writer.  Most of his work was fairly comic-book related.  He is perhaps best known as the creator of the titular character of the Static Shock TV show from a few years back, but also was involved with the Justice League/Justice League Unlimited show, wrote for such comics as the Fantastic Four, Deathlok, and The Amazing Spider-Man.  His work was very present in most of the DC Universe direct-to-DVD movies, and he even did a title for the Scooby-Doo people.

One of the most notable characteristics to McDuffie’s work is that he integrated characters of a wide ethnic background, and more often than not did it with no stereotype, no over-effort, and often without it even being an issue.  He painted a world where good fights unfathomable evil…but also an idealized world where Blacks, Whites, Asians, and whatever-else-you’ve-got stood side by side and didn’t even notice that they were different.  His characters managed to be of all backgrounds, and maintained that very delicate line where they were genuinely of their own racial background, but never clichéd.  In an industry that created characters like Apache Chief, Black Lightning, Egg Fu, et al, McDuffie’s voice was unique, and something other writers should strive for.

Plus—and this is an understatement, if ever there were one—his stories were good.  He wrote amazing stuff, and some people have even called him “the Stan Lee of our generation.”  I don’t know if that’s true.  I’m not sure Static Shock is going to stand up alongside Spider-Man, the X-Men, and Daredevil…  But maybe it should.  Maybe it would have.

Either way…it’d be a fitting tribute if you took a look at his last work, All Star Superman, released only this week.  Sad that he didn’t get to see how it will be accepted…but glorious that he got to see it released and go out having done something he loved.

The cause of death is uncertain at this time…all that is publicly known is that he suffered complications from a surgery he’d had the day before his death—we don’t even know what the surgery was for.  He is survived by his wife.  And his work, which will live for as long as there are geeks who love comics and people striving to write better ones.

Last Time I Went to the Dentist…

I officially have a dentist’s appointment for 2:30 on Thursday.  Apart from being highly coincidental that the time synchs up with that old, racist joke about when Chinese guys go to the dentist (2:30/Tooth-Hurty), it will also be the first time I have been to the dentist in 18 years.  This will be the first time I’ve been to the dentist in my adult lifetime.

That means the last time I was at the dentist was in 1993.  Wow.

So, let’s jump in my good-old Hot Tub Time Machine and take a look back at what was going on in the world the last time I was in a dentist’s chair.  Settle in…this is going to be a long one.  (Thanks a bunch, Wikipedia!)

In my personal life:

  • I know this is a bummer to start out on…but my mom was still alive, which is kinda weird to think about.  In fact, I specifically remember that she was the one who took me to the dentist.
  • My band at the time (union jack) had our first gig.  In fact, the appointment was about a week prior to the show, if memory serves.
  • I turned 13.  Officially a teenager.

Major World/Political Events in 1993:

  • Czechoslovakia dissolved.
  • Bill Clinton becomes the President of the United States of America.  (Arguably the last one who was worth a damn, with no offense to Obama, who still has time to prove himself.)
  • The ATF raids the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, eventually killing 76 people including children and the crazy religious nut that was regularly raping them.
  • The suspected World Trade Center bomber is captured.
  • Rodney King testifies against the police officers that beat the living shit out of him.
  • Janet Reno becomes the first female Attorney General.
  • A 7.5 earthquake hits Japan killing 385 people.
  • “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is announced.
  • Windows NT 3.1 is released.
  • For the first time, the public is allowed inside Buckingham Palace.
  • An earthquake in India kills 10,000 people.
  • The European Union is established.
  • NAFTA is established.
  • Brady Bill signed into law.
  • The Mississippi and Missouri rivers both flood their asses off in the American Midwest.

Notable Deaths in 1993:

  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • Andre the Giant
  • Brandon Lee
  • Mick Ronson
  • Conway Twitty
  • Pat Nixon
  • GG Allin
  • Fred Gwynne
  • Don Drysdale
  • Raymond Burr
  • Vincent Price
  • Frank Zappa

Top Grossing Films of 1993:

  1. Jurassic Park
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire
  3. The Fugitive
  4. Schindler’s List (Let’s just take a second and dwell on the fact that Mrs. Doubtfire did better than Schindler’s List–which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards!)
  5. The Firm
  6. Indecent Proposal
  7. Cliffhanger
  8. Sleepless in Seattle
  9. Philadelphia 
  10. The Pelican Brief

Notable TV Events in 1993:

  • Cartoon Network begins broadcasting.
  • Michael Jackson performs at the Superbowl, becoming the first solo-act ever to do so.  He is later interviewed on Oprah.  And then it gets really, really creepy.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show is broadcast on TV for the first time.  On the Fox Network (of course).
  • Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Christina Aguilera join the cast of The New Mickey Mouse Club.
  • CBS loses the rights to broadcast NFL football to Fox.
  • TV Debuts:
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • WWF Monday Night Raw
    • Beavis and Butthead
    • The Late Show with David Letterman
    • The X-Files
    • Boy Meets World
    • Late Night with Conan O’Brien
    • Frasier
  • Series Finales:
    • Cheers
    • Count Duckula
    • Doogie Howser
    • The Wonder Years
    • Designing Women
    • Late Night with David Letterman
    • Hee Haw

Notable Music Events in 1993:

  • The Elvis Presley stamp is issued.
  • Cream reunites for a special performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, back when it meant something.
  • Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” becomes the longest running #1 single ever, for some reason.
  • Prince changes his name to an unpronounceable symbol, confusing pretty much everyone.
  • Michael Jackson is accused of child molestation.
  • Rick Astley retires.  And thus, the Rick-Roll meme begins to loom.
  • Bands Formed:
    • Backstreet Boys
    • Ben Folds Five
    • Daft Punk
    • The Donnas
    • In Flames
    • Jimmy Eat World
    • Korn
    • Modest Mouse
    • Papa Roach
    • Superjoint Ritual
    • Trans-Siberian Orchestra
    • Wilco
    • Zeke
  • Bands Disbanded:
    • Celtic Frost
    • Echo & the Bunnymen
    • Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
    • Pixies
  • Significant Albums:
    • Denis Leary – No Cure for Cancer (Comedy record, but I’m counting it because it gave the world the “Asshole” song.)
    • Joey Lawrence – Joey Lawrence
    • Van Halen – Live: Right Here, Right Now
    • David Bowie – Black Tie, White Noise
    • Aerosmith – Get a Grip
    • Toby Keith – Toby Keith
    • Primus – Pork Soda
    • Shania Twain – Shania Twain
    • Aimee Mann – Whatever
    • Anthrax – Sound of White Noise
    • Collective Soul – Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid
    • U2 – Zooropa
    • Billy Joel – River of Dreams
    • Garth Brooks – In Pieces
    • Nirvana – In Utero
    • Iron Maiden – A Real Live One / A Real Dead One / Live at Donnington
    • Pearl Jam – Vs.
    • Rush – Counterparts
  • Hall of Fame Inductions:
    • The Animals
    • The Band
    • Duane Eddy
    • The Grateful Dead
    • Elton John
    • John Lennon
    • Bob Marley
    • Rod Stewart
  • Grammys:
    • Record of the Year – Eric Clapton for “Tears in Heaven”
    • Album of the Year (and, no…I don’t know what the difference is) – Eric Clapton for Unplugged
    • Song of the Year – Eric Clapton for “Tears in Heaven”
    • Best New Artist – Arrested Development
    • “Legend” Award – Michael Jackson

Misc Pop-Culture Events:

  • Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time becomes the longest running book on the bestseller list of The Sunday Times ever.
  • The first DOOM video game is released.
  • Harley Davidson Motorcycles turn 90 years old.
  • The Pentium microprocessor introduced by Intel.
  • IBM announces a $4.97 billion loss for 1992, the largest single-year corporate loss in United States history to date.

…and for the love of God let’s STOP!!!

So, that’s what was going on last time I went to the dentist.  Here’s hoping this year winds up being just as interesting!  (Let’s also hope I end up keeping at least a FEW of my teeth!)

Part of Why I Hang Out on the Fringes

As I’ve recently noted, I get accused of music snobbery sometimes.  That’s mostly because I tend to prefer more independent/underground artists to those in the mainstream.  (But that’s not always true.  And if the artists I dig from the underground ever break through to the mainstream, I’ll go right along with them…but I digress.)  There are a lot of reasons I support lesser known bands.  Part of it is that I don’t like things that sound too glossy.  Part of it is that I prefer club shows to arena shows.  Part of it is that I tend to find indie bands to be more passionate about what they do (but again, that’s not always true).  And it goes on…

But one of the main reasons is because of the personal touch the lesser-known bands seem to have.  As a great example, one of my favorite bands is the Drive-By Truckers.  They released a new record last week.  I did a preorder, and I received my order very late, as most who did the preorder did.  I figured it was just because I placed the order a little bit late, so I wasn’t top of the priority list…but that wasn’t it.  It was apparently a distribution problem.

Now…when you do a preorder and don’t get it on the day you’re supposed to…or the next day…or the next day…  You are likely to get irritated about it.  Lots of DBT fans were pissed off about what was seen as shockingly bad service, especially considering the loyalty of DBT fans, and how well the band has treated us over the years.  I saw more than one online comment to the effect of “Well, I guess now that they’ve toured with Tom Petty, they don’t need us anymore” and so on.  But, that wasn’t it…it was just a mistake.  We all make mistakes…and a lot of bands don’t own up to them when they happen.

But DBT did.

I received the following e-mail on 2/18—three days after I SHOULD have received my preorder:

We want to apologize to those of you who received your Go-Go Boots pre-order late or still have not received it. There was an issue with a late delivery of some of the vinyl to our shipping partner Audiolife.

If you have any questions regarding your order, please reach out to Taylor at [e-mail address removed so no one spams them].  We feel terrible that we let down our biggest supporters and promise that this will never happen again and that we will do something to make it up to you. At this point, our number one goal is to make sure everyone has their order so please contact Taylor if you have not. Thanks for your continued patience.

Then a couple of hours ago, I got THIS one:

We are now offering everyone who participated in the preorder at drivebytruckers.com a free download of the ‘Sometimes Late at Night’ EP. You can download it by clicking here [link removed out of respect to the band].  We are offering this for two reasons: (1) Every single person who participated in the preorder should have received their order by Tuesday, February 15th at the latest and some did not and (2) We’ve realized our most loyal fans, who buy music direct from us, should have been offered the ‘Sometimes Late at Night’ EP as part of the drivebytruckers.com preorder. Unfortunately, a mistake was made. We wanted to do something special for the independent record stores that we love and in doing so, we pissed off some of our most loyal fans, which we are sorry about. Again, thanks for all of the support.

We again want to apologize for any delays you may have had in receiving your preorder.  If you still have questions regarding your preorder, feel free to reach out to Taylor at [again, e-mail removed]. 

 
Now THAT’S how you do it.
 
Whatever else you can say, I’ve never gotten that kind of touch from The Who—and I was in their fan club for a while, until the fan club service got to be little-more than laughable.
 
And that’s why I like the underground.
 
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In other news…  One of my teeth pretty much collapsed.  And it’s a front-tooth…so I’m actively, actually trying to get to a dentist.  The guy I want to see isn’t open on Mondays…but we’ll figure it out tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  I’ve got a high-deductible plan…so this isn’t going to be easy financially, even if it’s easy physically…which it won’t be.

Bad Supergroups

I’m really low on ideas…so here’s a list of some “mash-up” band names.  If a supergroup were to form of two (or more) bands and decided to use parts of their old names, these might be the names…and they’d make for some really BAD team ups.  This is inspired by the tribute band Beatallica, who play mash-up songs of both the Beatles and Metallica…but imagine that with the ACTUAL band members…then you’re hearing what I heard in my head while throwing together this list.

Anyway…a couple of these suck…but let’s do this thing!  (I’ll clarify a couple of the more obscure/badly done ones.)

  1. Randy Newman Overdrive
  2. Jefferson Ringo Starrship
  3. Def Zeppelin
  4. U-2 Live Crew
  5. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Garfunkel
  6. Rolling Stone Temple Pilots
  7. KC and the Doo Dah Band
  8. Pearl Lamb of God
  9. Iron Mayhem (Iron Maiden and Mayhem…which actually might not be too bad…but I don’t wanna hear it.)
  10. KISStreisand
  11. Manfred Manson (Manfred Mann and Marilyn Manson)
  12. Motorhanson
  13. Lady Anti-Flag (Lady Antebellum and Anti-Flag)
  14. T Rex Pistols
  15. Godspeed You Black Sabbath (Godspeed You Black Emporer and Black Sabbath)
  16. Van Springsteen
  17. Nitty Gritty Dirt Bizkit
  18. Ozzy Osmond

…alright.  That was stupid…and I couldn’t even get to 20.

I promise I’ll write something better soon.